Our “Streetart Bike Tour through Cologne” in detail!
Cologne is a multicultural city on the Rhine. Unexcited and colorful, Cologne’s lifestyle preserves its traditions while embracing modern influences.
Cologne’s streetart scene is the best example of the successful balancing act between cultural heritage and modern urban development. However, while the cathedral attracts millions of visitors every year and is presented as a highlight in every travel guide, it may take some insider knowledge to find the “must-sees” of Cologne’s streetart. Because the hidden masterpieces are often overlooked. And yet Cologne is full of colorful surprises!
Here and today, we would like to invite you on a little journey of discovery through the street galleries and present individual highlights of our “Streetart Bike Tour through Cologne”. For this purpose, we asked some of our street art guides about their urban art favorites and talked to them about the different perspectives on Cologne’s streetart..
Streetart in perspective!
For Christian, who has already been working as a tour guide for several years and enjoys discovering a new perspective again and again, a city without streetart and art in public space is not worth living. He wants to give his guests on tour new (insights) into their surroundings. His definitions of art follow Marina Abramowic’s “Art can only be done in destructive societies that have to be rebuilt” and the question “what story does the work tell, what level does the work have, what lies behind the obvious?”.
Sarah has been guiding visitors to Cologne through the street art jungle since 2016: “The great thing about our ‘Streetart BIke Tour through Cologne’ is that it sharpens the eye for something that many people don’t recognize at first glance”. She especially likes the many differences that the Cologne scene has to offer: From classic graffiti to “feel-good art” on tiles, from socially critical paste-ups to expressive large murals on entire house walls – artists from all over the world have immortalized themselves in Cologne!
Guide Tobi, on the other hand, has been interested in graffiti since his earliest youth and is still intensively involved with the subject. He therefore has his very own perspective on graffiti’s little (or big?) sister: “For me, streetart is good and worth seeing when it is done well in terms of pure craftsmanship and – this is even more important – is innovative and creative. As with graffiti painting, anyone can try, but at least the ones that do manage to stand out from the crowd and be remembered.” Come on tour with him and let him show you his favorites!
But what exactly is there to see in Cologne? And where are the best works? Our tour takes you to the Belgian Quarter and Ehrenfeld, where most street artists have left their mark.
Streetart goes Politics in Ehrenfeld!
The artist group “Captain Borderline” conjures up the perfect mix of socially critical and political motifs on the walls in Cologne. One of the most impressive murals can be found in Ehrenfeld. Maybe you have even caught a glimpse of it!
“Surveillance of the Fittest” is about surveillance by the powerful in society. The mural shows a fenced herd of sheep, which is monitored by a bald eagle.
Christian’s background, his mother’s love of music, literature and painting, and inspirational teachers have given him a strong political consciousness and a keen perception of society. On his tour, the masterpiece of Captain Borderline is definitely not to be missed!
In addition to Captain Borderline’s large murals, Sarah’s tour also features smaller paste-ups, stickers, stencils, and tiles that depict political figures in whimsical and alienated situations or address globally debated issues of politics, religion, or culture.
Bunt and shrill in the „Belgian“ Quarter
Many streetart artists have already immortalized themselves in the Belgian Quarter. But few are as widespread and can be found on almost every corner as the small works of art by Jonny Ladeur. His “Joiny,” practically an original Cologne cultural asset, helps make the streets more colorful and comments on the entire neighborhood with its cool, Cologne sayings!
Whether as a mural, paste-up or record installation, “Joiny” has cologne humor and especially in the Belgian a large fan base. En route on our street art tour you will find some of the “jecken” motives in the Brüsseler Straße!
But beware: Where something was still up on the walls just yesterday, there may be something new today, and walls that are bare today, can be quite colorful tomorrow. Because streetart is dynamic! Sarah explains that through this constant change no boredom arises and each tour is unique!
Those who have already dealt with street art have probably heard of the unofficial symbol of art. A banana? Exactly!
Thomas Baumgärtel has been marking art locations with bright yellow spray bananas since 1986. You’ll find the yellow fruits on buildings, galleries, squares, art associations or museums. So, next time you visit a museum, pay attention to it!
In the meantime, the banana has traveled around the world and can be found over 4000 times! So why is Cologne so special? The “Bananensprayer” was born and raised near Cologne, has already organized one or the other large exhibition in the city and has also participated in the creation of some large murals in addition to the small funny bananas! If you want to convince yourself of the banana again, take a look here.
Well, did we get you interested?
In addition to the many great and colorful works of art, you will also learn a lot of interesting facts and news about Cologne’s urban development, gentrification and “hipsterism” on our “Streetart Bike Tour through Cologne” and cycle away from the conventional tourist streams! So, click here if you want to learn more about Cologne’s urban art scene and be part of this journey of discovery, or contact us directly for questions and bookings.